The Head of John The Baptist

Okay. I’ve turned the speakers off, plugged the headphones in (thus sparing my neighbours from the hideous sonics that would otherwise get me arrested for noise pollution). A glass of water and a sore leg. I’m not sure that the sore leg is necessary, but it appears to be here to stay at the moment.

And so we begin.

Metal Machine Music: Track 1.

[0:00] Okay, so there's feedback.
[0:15] Lots of feedback.
[1:42] Scarlily, it actually sounds quite musical at times.
[2:05] ZX Spectrum loading sounds!
[2:06] R: Tape Loading error
[3:44] Oh god, help me. I'm actually enjoying it.
[5:12] Someone's killing a cat!
[7:02] Here, it's beginning to sound like when the science programmes on television play the sound of the universe's background radiation.
[8:58] We're over halfway through the first track!
[10:42] Strange beeping in the right channel. It is trying to send me a message?
[12:27] A baby crying in the right channel?
[14:55] Someone's seen to the baby.
[16:11] End track 1

Track 2

[0:03] The baby's gone over to the left.
[1:01] My headphones are self-tuning - they just flipped out because they think it's static.
[3:36] Paul Morley was right.
[4:20] Was that a voice in the left?
[6:45] It's really quite beautiful. Brutal and disgusting, but beautiful.
[10:04] Disappointed that I haven't gone insane yet. (Mind you, would I notice?)
[11:07] Was that my eardrum?
[13:24] " And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets."
[14:32] Left eardrum starting to fail. But I shall not give up! I! Shall! NOT! GIVE! UP!

Track 3

[1:10] Glossolia. ah ah The Tower of Babel they knew what they were after
[2:16] The baby's back stretched across the sky.
[3:13] Hey! That almost sounds like a guitar. I'm almost disappointed.
[4:02] Starting to develop a headache.
[6:05] Is that the ice-cream van?
[7:13] I can't explain. I can hear patterns, notes, emerging from the feedback. Order from chaos. Or is that my mind trying to assert itself over reality? Where is my beautiful wife? How did I get here?
[7:59] Godspeed You! Black Emperor was born in Track 3.
[10:37] It occurs to me that this would be a great choice for a funeral. Especially if, as the deceased, you hated everybody. All! Four! Sides!
[11:02] Of course, they could promise to do it and then bottle out on the day.
[11:11] And then you'd haunt them to the end of their days.
[13:00] Did somebody just walk across the studio?
[14:20] Somebody should make a book on email junk mail. What was the first spam message sent? What is the story behind the 419 messages? Did the guy trying to make a time machine succeed?
[16:10] One more track left.

Track 4

[0:10] Somebody needs to make a continuous mix.
[0:45] The baby is yelling again.
[1:03] But, really, what was the reaction in RCA after the first play? "Gee, Lou. Thanks. Very funny. Now where's the record?"
[1:47] Some strange pulsing going on in the right hand channel.
[2:50] Marching?
[4:31] Feeling calm.
[5:29] I really am beginning to sense a tune. There is truly no hope for me.
[7:27] I think my left ear is starting to bleed
[8:32] Thinking about it, the best time to listen to this isn't during the day, but early in the morning, say 3am, with lots of people spread out on the floor.
[9:41] And that reminds me, I must get hold of Zaireeka.
[11:40] Final few minutes now.
[12:32] Nice.
[13:05] Sadly, this copy can't replicate the original release completely. The vinyl version has a "locked" groove on the final side, so it will actually play forever if you let it.
[13:49] BoBoom. BoBoom. BoBoom. The finality of the end is approaching.
[14:35] Faster, faster.
[15:04] Sweet Jane! Anyone who had a heart!
[15:35] The
[15:36] end
[15:37] is


currently playing: Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music (what, did you think I was making all this up?)

Can't Get You Out Of My Room

Finally finished Words and Music. I’m not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. It’s a rambling mess, seemingly lacking an editor or a proofreader (“thier”?), it never really fulfills on the promise of the murder mystery, and it’s nothing more than a bunch of lists, with twenty page digressions on Kraftwerk and Simon Fuller, and a chapter that’s comprised mostly of footnotes. It’s laughably pretentious, in all the ways you’d expect from Paul Morley.

And's wonderful. It's everything music journalism should be: joyful and serious, critical and reverential, obscure and populist, descriptive and vague, Missy Elliot and John Cage, modern and nostalgic, obsessive and shallow, optimistic and despondent, entertaining and informing, digital and analogue, left and right, mysterious and clear.

I'm going to steal just about half of it. Plus, tomorrow, I'm listening to Metal Machine Music. Be afraid…

currently playing:

Let me tell you how it will be

Well, it certainly took them long enough to notice…

currently playing: KLF - Last Train To Transcentral

The Wonders of PR

Yesterday, the RIAA acted swiftly to try and avert a public relations disaster, after it found itself suing a 12 year old girl from a New York housing project. The maximum penalty the girl could have faced was a fine of $150m (American copyright laws have the potential of fining $150,000 per infringement, and the girl had over 1,000 songs on her computer). Realising that this would lead to more questions being asked of their recent crusade, the RIAA quickly settled with the girl’s family. The girl’s mother will pay a $2,000 fine to the RIAA. Brianna Lahara, the girl in question, said this to reporters:

I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don’t want to hurt the artists I love.
I don’t know if the RIAA has been asked how much of this $2,000 will go to the artists. Wearing my British Cynic Hat (standard issue for all citizens), I guess that most, if not all of that sum will go into the pockets of the RIAA’s lawyers.

Which brings us to another question: what is the RIAA going to do with all this money it's collecting? Will they give some to the artists, and if so, how are they going to divide it up? A simple tally of how many times the artists appears in people's shared lists (in which case, remove all your Phil Collins and Celine Dion MP3s now)? What happens if we're sharing bootlegs? Giving more cash to Orrin Hatch, so he can continue to make stupid statements? We need to know!

Oh, and while the record companies huff and puff, they're not adverse to using the file-sharing networks for their own purposes.

currently playing: The Go-Betweens - Magic In Here

Camp Surreal

The question is, are they getting the girl or boy Happy Meals?

currently playing: Betty Boo - 24 Hours

The 2005 Sunset

The first part of a series investigating the PATRIOT Act. An important axiom for our times is buried within this article: Don’t mess with librarians.

It also seems to contradict Ms. Comstock's assurances in last week's Nightline documentary. Although the agencies need a judge to get a secret warrant, the judge is powerless to refuse their request, as long as they've filled in the paperwork correctly. Which seems to get rid of some of those pesky checks and balances,

currently playing: Radiohead - Optimistic

Going Slowly Insane

It’s in 32V! 32V! 32V! 32V! Stop lying, corporate scum!


currently playing: Radiohead - Thinking About You

Uncle Sam Wants You

To Shut Up.
currently playing: Suede - Animal Nitrate

For Your Consideration

The Greatest Computer Game Review. Ever.

(In memory of YS, AP, Digi, and now Digiworld. *sniff*)

currently playing: Orange Juice - I Can’t Help Myself

I'm A Big Nerd

But then, I’m fairly sure that everybody reading this already knows that.

Still, you'd be surprised at the huge grin on my face after reading JLA/Avengers earlier this evening. Sure, superhero comics are a childish power fantasy, most likely responsible for holding back the acceptance of comics as an art form in the US and UK. And this book is probably the ultimate fan-fantasy, teaming up the two big teams from the DC (Batman, Superman, Flash, etc.) and Marvel (Spider-Man, Captain America, The Hulk, and so on) Universes.

But, for what it was, it managed to include everything that can make these things great. Stupid gigantic cosmic menace that wipes out inconsequential universes in the first few pages? Check. A silly quest to find important objects? Check. The two teams meet up, immediately distrust each other, and start fighting? Check, check, and check.

It contains everything you need in a good crossover, backed-up with the usual gorgeous art from George Perez.

And! Jokes! The Batman beats up the Punisher off-panel! Quicksilver looks forward to being worshipped as a super-speedster in the DC Universe! Hawkeye thinks that the JLA are a copy of the Squadron Supreme! Plastic Man! Lobo versus the Sh'iar!

(Of course, none of that makes sense to the majority of you, but trust me, it's amusing. Nod your heads and back away slowly...)

It's gloriously unashamed superheroics, casting aside the dead-end of the Authority and Dark Knight eras, and going back to crazy, goofy ideas. Can't wait for issue #2.

(Quick comic round-up: The Priest Curse strikes again, so The Crew will be ending with issue #7. Grr. Neil Gaiman's 1602 is intriguing, but I think it's definitely going to be a minor work. The Filth continues to get better. I'm thinking about selling all my Global Frequency issues on eBay, in the hope that some Ellis fan will appreciate them more than I did, and boy oh boy did Morrison pull a fast one on us, eh readers?)

I think this entry can only go downhill from here. Soon, I'll be explaining my love of the Five-Year Gap, why it was Straxus in Time Wars rather than Megatron, thinking about why Delight became Delirium, the identity of V (in both instances), and the significance of the different Key viruses in The Invisibles. So I'd best stop here, for all your sakes.

currently playing: Oasis - Don’t Look Back In Anger